Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Matt Alber - Handsome Man


(Tipped by JMG reader Troy)

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SLOVAKIA: Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Lobbies Against LGBT Rights

The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom is taking their battle against LGBT equality to Slovakia.
"The people of Slovakia should have the freedom to preserve marriage and family if they so choose," said Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Roger Kiska, who filed an amicus brief with the court. "This referendum will allow Slovaks to affirm current Slovak law and important social values, which is perfectly acceptable under the Slovak Constitution." More than 400,000 citizens signed the petition supporting a referendum, according to Roger Kiska—more than the required number of signatures. However, Slovak President Andrej Kiska asked the Constitutional Court to review the measure because of a provision in the country's constitution that forbids holding a referendum to change "fundamental rights and liberties."
Slovakia banned same-sex marriage in June. The proposed referendum backed by the ADF would stiffen that ban to include any recognition of same-sex relationships and ban unmarried people from adopting children.

RELATED: Eight members of the 28-nation European Union have legalized same-sex marriage: Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England & Wales). Nine EU members offer civil unions or partnerships: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Slovenia. Eleven EU nations currently offer no recognition of same-sex couples: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

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Headline Of The Day

Via Valleywag:
Facebook is feeling the heat and is slated to apologize for the situation later today, sources tell Valleywag. We're told the apology will be first issued at a meeting with a coalition of drag queens, LGBT activists, and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, all of whom have been pressing Facebook end the discriminatory policy. Before making a public announcement, the company will also outline to activists how it plans to fix its policies. When reached for comment, a Facebook representative declined to comment on the terms of the policy reversal. However, the representative confirmed the meeting is taking place.

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OHIO: Lesbian Sues Over Wrong Sperm

An white Ohio lesbian is suing a local sperm bank, alleging that they mistakenly sent her sperm from an African-American donor. According to the suit, while she and her partner adore their mixed-race daughter, they are having difficulty raising her in an all-white community.
Jennifer Cramblett, of Uniontown, Ohio, alleges in the lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court that Midwest Sperm Bank sent her the vials of an African-American donor's sperm in September 2011 instead of those of a white donor that she and her white partner had ordered. After searching through pages of comprehensive histories for their top three donors, the lawsuit claims, Cramblett and her domestic partner, Amanda Zinkon, chose donor No. 380, who was also white. Their doctor in Ohio received vials from donor No. 330, who is African-American, the lawsuit said. Cramblett, 36, learned of the mistake in April 2012, when she was pregnant and ordering more vials so that the couple could have another child with sperm from the same donor, according to the lawsuit. The sperm bank delivered vials from the correct donor in August 2011, but Cramblett later requested more vials, according to the suit. Cramblett is suing Midwest Sperm Bank for wrongful birth and breach of warranty, citing the emotional and economic losses she has suffered.
The suit further states that the plaintiff fears the child will not be accepted by her "all white and unconsciously insensitive family." Oh brother. The wingnuts are going to go crazy over this. 

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25 Years Ago Today In Denmark

Photo by Rex Wockner.

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Harlem Hate Pastor: Oklahoma Beheading Victim Was Killed For Being A "Sodomite"

In one of his typically raving and spittle-flecked rants posted today, Harlem hate Pastor James David Manning declared that the victim in last week's beheading in Oklahoma was targeted because the killer "knew she was a sodomite." (Manning, as you may know, regularly posts church signs calling for homosexuals to be stoned to death.) No media reports have identified the victim, Colleen Hufford, as a lesbian.  A memorial fund set up yesterday describes Hufford as a "loyal wife, mother, and a doting grandmother." Photos on a Facebook memorial page appear to show Hufford with her husband. 

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Chad Griffin Joins Twitter

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Court Orders Former Sen. Larry Craig To Pay Up Over Toe-Tapping Toilet Sting

A federal court yesterday ordered former GOP Sen. Larry Craig to pay the government $242,000 in campaign funds that he used to pay lawyers after being busted toe-tapping in a Minneapolis airport restroom. Craig has argued that he was entitled to use the funds because was traveling on official Senate business at the time of his arrest.
Loop Fans may recall our prior analyses of his trip to the bathroom. Best we were able to determine at the time — judging from what sources told us were the usual arrival and departure gates for his flights — Craig may have passed not one, not two, not three but four bathrooms at the airport along the way before choosing the very one that an airport official called “the biggest hotspot” for sexual encounters. But we digress. In the current legal action, Craig argued that Senate rules permit reimbursement for any costs while on official travel. But the Federal Election Commission filed suit, saying Craig converted the campaign funds for personal use in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District agreed. “The Court finds that defendants violated the FECA when they converted campaign funds to pay for legal expenses related to Senator Craig’s efforts to withdraw his guilty plea, which was a personal matter that was not connected to the Senator’s duties as an officeholder,” Jackson wrote.
During his 28 years in Congress, Craig voted against LGBT rights every time. He left office in January 2009 with a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He is now a lobbyist.

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GOP Mocks Obamacare Anniversary

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Court Date Set For Alleged Gay Bashers

Yesterday a Pennsylvania judge set December 16th as the date for a joint preliminary hearing for the three suspects in the brutal Philadelphia gay bashing that captured national attention.
Following that hearing, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. The defendants - Kathryn Knott, 24, Philip Williams, 24, and Kevin Harrigan, 26 - were excused from having to appear at the status hearing by agreement with the District Attorney's Office. But attorneys for Knott, of Southampton, and Harrigan, of Warrington, said their clients are not gay-bashers. Williams did not utter any homophobic slurs during the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square, said his attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr. "Fortunately, my client will have a chance to present this case in a court of law instead of the court of public opinion," Perri told reporters. When asked if Williams had been struck or if he struck either of the two gay men, Perri said: "We'll resolve that matter in a court of law." Attorney Joshua Scarpello, who represents Harrigan, said, "There certainly is another side to this case, there always is, and it's going to come to light."
The victims have not yet spoken publicly.

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Andrew Sullivan Writes About PrEP

"Here are your options: the blue pill or the red pill. Take the one-pill-a-day Truvada and never get HIV; take the often one-pill anti-retroviral pill, and you will never give someone HIV. To make doubly sure, you can always use a condom. Except almost every man who ever had sex hates condoms – and, unlike a pill you take every day, wearing a condom means making a decision in the middle of sexual desire and passion when your rational self is at its weakest. [snip] The discourse around this new breakthrough has long been about risks and expense and compliance and how to make sure men don’t get too promiscuous again. And all that has its place. But we fail to understand this moment if we do not understand the liberation that comes with ridding gay sex of the terror and stink of death, the liberation that comes with leaving a world where another man – before he can be anything to you – has to be put in a 'positive' or 'negative' box. Sex is about intimacy; it is about love; it is about relief. And for the first time since the early 1980s, we have a chance to rid it of fear. Why are we not rushing to embrace this? What is still preventing us from becoming collectively a force for love and friendship that is no longer limned with terror?" - Andrew Sullivan, writing for his site.

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No More Saturday Morning Cartoons

Engadget reports that the last network to air Saturday morning cartoons has dropped that programming.
The CW has aired its last batch of Vortexx programming, leaving American kids without any animated broadcast TV to start their weekends for the first time in decades. From here on out, young ones glued to the tube will mostly be watching educational shows. As for why this longstanding television staple has vanished? It's a combination of regulation and technological progress. A 1996 FCC rule required that stations offer at least three hours of educational programming every week; to avoid interrupting affiliate programming, the networks scheduled most of that content on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, kids' viewing options have increased dramatically. On top of dedicated cable and satellite channels like the Cartoon Network, they can now watch plenty of animation on Hulu, Netflix and other streaming services.
Which was your favorite?

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Microsoft Previews Windows 10

There is no Windows 9. Via USA Today:
Microsoft on Tuesday lifted the veil on the next version of Windows: Windows 10. At an event in San Francisco focused on corporate users, Microsoft previewed early elements of the next generation of its iconic computer operating system. It represents the first step in a whole new generation of Windows, said Microsoft executive Terry Myerson. The company said it will focus on one Windows product family across devices. Its corporate users will find Windows 10 "familiar, compatible and productive," Myerson said. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore gave a demo, focused on the core experience in how the PC "is evolving." There are live tiles, familiar to Windows 8 users, but also elements familiar to Windows 7 users, which is far more widely deployed. The Start menu and task bar are front and center.

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Martel - The Mercurotti

Clip recap:
Marc Martel. A duet of two of my favorite musical influences, Freddie Mercury and Luciano Pavarotti. This is one continuous performance from start to finish, shot in one take, using two cameras. No audio has been cut or replaced. (I added the “Pavarotti” harmony for "Vincero, Vincero!" afterwards, since I have yet to master singing in both voices simultaneously. Stay tuned, though.)

(Tipped by JMG reader Ray)

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CDC Announces First US Case Of Ebola

Details.

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Postmodern Jukebox - Anaconda

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No SCOTUS Marriage Orders Today

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PENNSYLVANIA: Liberty Counsel Claims Victory In Straight Wedding Lawsuit

Via the virulently anti-gay Charisma News:
Following its longstanding policy, Inne of the Abingtons in North Abington politely refused to host the wedding of a lesbian couple and suggested several alternative venues. After the Inne was unfairly shamed on social media for its stance, a heterosexual couple canceled their 100-guest wedding and reception event. Even though there was not enough time for the Inne to rebook the facility, the couple demanded the return of their deposit, which was nonrefundable under the industry-standard contract. Having no contractual or legal grounds to force the Inne to take a loss on their cancellation, the couple sued the business anyway, seeking not only a return of the deposit, but triple that amount as damages. On the day of trial, the judge agreed with Liberty Counsel, who is representing the banquet hall, that the suit was improperly filed and should be dismissed. Rather than let the judge enter a formal dismissal, the couple withdrew their lawsuit, essentially giving up in the face of Liberty Counsel's defense.
Since Liberty Counsel hasn't won a case involving actual LGBT people in a very long time, they are taking a victory lap: "A Christian business owner should not have his contracts dishonored or be hauled into court because he operates his business according to conscience. This is a victory for religious liberty." (Tipped by JMG reader Scott)

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National Review Writer Kevin Williamson: Hang Women Who Have Abortions

After Twitter users questioned whether he was serious, Williamson responded, "Yes, I believe that the law should treat abortion like any other homicide." I last reported on this fuckweasel when the National Review published his vicious attack on transgender Americans.

UPDATE: Williamson has won a Twitter honor.

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OHIO: GOP Wins Early Voting Battle

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California Bans Plastic Bags

California today became the first state to outlaw plastic bags after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban into law.
SB270 prohibits stores from providing disposable plastic grocery bags to shoppers, and requires them to charge for paper bags. The bill, which proponents called a national model, represents a step toward elimination of the plastic checkout bags which have been a standard for American shoppers since the mid-1970s. Bag manufacturers, however, have vowed to repeal the bill through a ballot initiative. “This bill is a step in the right direction – it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself,” said Governor Brown. “We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last.” The law mandates a sweeping change in consumer habits that supporters hope will lead to widespread reliance on reusable shopping bags. Cutting out disposable sacks will reduce the stream of plastic film that winds up in waterways and landfills, they said.
Plastic bag manufacturers say they will immediately launch a petition drive to place a repeal of the ban on the 2016 ballot. Other opponents say that the ban will be a burden for the poor and that retailers will earn profits by charging ten cents for paper bags that only cost three cents each. In 2007 San Francisco became the first of more than 100 California municipalities to ban plastic bags.

RELATED: The New York City Council has proposed a similar ban and ten cent paper bag fee.

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David Cameron: I'm OK With Gay PDA

British Prime Minister David Cameron was interviewed last night by gay journalist Evan Davis, who grilled Cameron about his positions on "modernizing" issues. Via Gay Star News:
Davis asked if he saw two recently married men kissing in a public park, would he consider it to be 'sweet' or 'mildly inappropriate'? 'No, that's fine. I've been very clear about this and this is where I do, as it were, marry traditional and modern values,' Cameron said. 'I believe in the family, I believe in marriage and I think it's such a great institution I think men should be able to marry each other and women should be able to marry each other.' He added: 'If I can kiss my wife in public I don't see why you can't kiss your husband in public.'

Cameron was also asked whether he wanted children to learn weights in kilograms or pounds and ounces, with the Prime Minister picking the latter. And he also said if a company had to choose between a moderately capable Brit or a very good Latvian for a job, he would rather the British company employed British people but it would be entirely up to them. Davis used the questions to highlight Cameron's attempts to heal the rift between the two sides, the modern and the socially conservative, of his party.
Start at the 9:30 mark.

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Minneapolis Paper Runs Anti-Trans Ad

Via Minneapolis City Pages:
Yesterday, the Star Tribune upset many of its LGBT-friendly readers by running an anti-transgender ad paid for by the Minnesota Child Protection League. The ad urges parents to contact Minnesota State High School League officials ahead of a meeting later this week and ask them not to approve a new policy that would allow transgender students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity. A report on the thecolu.mn website describes the MCPL as "A group of veteran religious right and tea party activists" who were active opposing the anti-bullying Safe and Supportive Schools Act before it was signed into law earlier this year. The report notes that the group's lead spokesperson is Barb Anderson, founder of the Parents Action League. To give you an idea of where the MCPL is coming from, consider that Anderson once said, "The greatest threat to our freedom and the health and well-being of our children is from this radical homosexual agenda that is just so pervasive."
The Star Tribune responds to complaints:
If you were doing a story on how media of all kinds (broadcast, print, digital) handle campaign and advocacy advertising, I'd consider how we could contribute to the conversation. But I don't think that's what you're doing. In Minnesota, organizations and individuals of all kinds -- left, right, other -- know that if you want to reach the largest audience and have the biggest impact with your message, the best way to do it is advertising in the Star Tribune.

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Perkins Celebrates Hate Summit On Fox

Tony Perkins is again fashioning himself as a king-maker, therefore hate summit straw poll winner Ted Cruz is going to be our next president. Perkins and host Megyn Kelly then go on to denounce any criticism of Cruz. And notice the dismissive comments about not-anti-gay-enough Rand Paul. "He's trying. At least he put forth an effort," shrugs Perkins.

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Aretha Covers Adele On Letterman

Yesterday some of you had strong opinions about Aretha Franklin's cover of Adele's Rolling In The Deep. Last night Franklin performed the track live on Letterman, after which she talked about her early days and missing out on performing on the Ed Sullivan Show, which was filmed in the studio that is now home to Letterman.

UPDATE: The woeful backup singer who doesn't know the words is Cissy Houston.

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BROOKLYN: Hate Crime And Attempted Murder Charges Filed In Anti-Gay Shooting

Via DNA Info:
Three suspects have been arrested for shouting anti-gay slurs at a group of men dressed as women and shooting one of the them over the weekend, police said. Cody Sigue, 22, Matthew Smith, 21, and Tavon Johnson, 17, got into an argument with the victim around 7 a.m. Saturday on Broadway near Putnam Avenue, according to police. When the victim tried to run away from them, the suspects followed and shouted at them, according to court documents. "Y'all faggots, men dressing like women, tranny, drag queens," they allegedly shouted according to court documents. Smith was hit with a slew of charges including attempted murder as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and menacing as a hate crime. He was held without bail. Johnson and Sigue were charged with menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.
More on the shooter:
Smith had been out of jail for less than a month when the shooting happened, according to records and the Department of Corrections. The Bushwick man pleaded guilty to strangling a woman in a domestic violence incident that happened last December, causing the woman's face to swell, records show. He was in jail from May 21 to Sept. 3 and is expected to be sentenced for the crime next Thursday, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. The grand jury also dismissed a robbery charge, pending a new grand jury, at a court appearance on Sept 3., records show. Smith has 16 prior arrests total, according to police, and has been in and out of the city's incarceration system since December 2012. Smith was also charged with firing off his gun in the area the night before the anti-gay shooting, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.
The shooting victim was hospitalized in stable condition.

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MINNEAPOLIS: Man Shouting Scripture Shoots Gay Couple With BB Gun

Two tourists visiting the popular Minneapolis gay bar The Saloon were shot with a BB gun on Thursday by a man shouting bible verses.
“He made a disrespectful comment towards the homosexual community, towards a couple that was holding hands and he obviously didn't appreciate that,” [security guard Tyler] Erickson said. Shortly after his expletives, Odegard's sheer disregard for the establishment, or humanity, then escalated. After yelling gay slurs, he allegedly pulled out a CO2 powered BB gun. “I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood,” Erickson said. Before Odegard could run even 30 feet, Erickson nabbed him, arrested him and called police. “He told me multiple times that I'm going to go to hell and he's going to bring me with him,” Erickson said. “He recited a biblical passage -- I think it's a Deuteronomy passage.” Fortunately, they couple wasn't seriously injured. It wasn't a real gun, but the act shouldn't be taken lightly, Erickson said. “Even if the guy was shot with the same CO2 powered BB gun in the face, it would've gone right through his cheek.
(Via Christian Nightmares)

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Bishop Says Gay Marriage Will Lead To Marrying Dogs & Adopting The Puppies

Bishop Jose Maria de la Torre Martin is very concerned that if his Mexican state of Aguascalientes were to approve its proposed same-sex marriage bill, next will come "allowing a man to marry a dog and they can inherit the puppies." Gay marriage is presently legal in the nation's capital and in the states of Quintana Roo and Coahuila, the last of which saw a massive anti-gay march this weekend following the first same-sex ceremonies. Aguascalientes is the third-smallest of Mexico's 31 states and is about the size of Connecticut.

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ARIZONA: Lesbian Couple Appears In Ad For Secretary Of State Candidate

Former Phoenix mayor and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard lost to Jan Brewer in the 2010 gubernatorial race. This time he's running for Secretary of State with the support of the below lesbian couple, who denounce his opponent for backing the failed attempt to legalize anti-gay discrimination.

(Tipped by JMG reader Homer)

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Poll: 53% Of Teabaggers Favor Secession

Via the Los Angeles Times:
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday, 23.9% of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away from the country. About 53% of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose secession, slightly less than the percentage that kept Scotland in the United Kingdom. Support for secession cuts across many lines, the poll found, but the West and Southwest, where the vision of rugged individualism still draws praise, seemed more inclined to back separation than the staid New England area. Younger and poorer folks were more likely to want to run for the exit. Politically, conservatives and Republicans seem to like the idea of leaving more than Democrats. Among people who said they identified with the tea party, supporters of secession were actually in the majority, with 53%.
(Tipped by JMG reader Joel)

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New Report On LGBT Poverty

Via the Movement Advancement Project:
A landmark report released today paints a stark picture of the added financial burdens faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans because of anti-LGBT laws at the national, state and local levels. According to the report, these laws contribute to significantly higher rates of poverty among LGBT Americans and create unfair financial penalties in the form of higher taxes, reduced wages and Social Security income, increased healthcare costs, and more. The momentum of recent court rulings overturning marriage bans across the country has created the impression that LGBT Americans are on the cusp of achieving full equality from coast-to-coast. But the new report, Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being LGBT in America, documents how inequitable laws harm the economic well-being of LGBT people in three key ways: by enabling legal discrimination in jobs, housing, credit and other areas; by failing to recognize LGBT families, both in general and across a range of programs and laws designed to help American families; and by creating barriers to safe and affordable education for LGBT students and the children of LGBT parents.

The report documents the often-devastating consequences when the law fails LGBT families. For example, children raised by same-sex parents are almost twice as likely to be poor as children raised by married opposite-sex parents. Additionally, 15 percent of transgender workers have incomes of less than $10,000 per year; among the population as a whole, the comparable figure is just four percent. To demonstrate the connection between anti-LGBT laws and the finances of LGBT Americans and their families, the report outlines how LGBT people living in states with low levels of equality are more likely to be poor, both compared to their non-LGBT neighbors, and compared to their LGBT counterparts in state with high levels of equality. For example, the denial of marriage costs gay and lesbian families money; same-sex couples with children had just $689 less in household income than married opposite-sex couples in states with marriage and relationship recognition for same-sex couples, but had an astounding $8,912 less in household income in states lacking such protections.
Read the full report (PDF).

UPDATE: NBC News reports on the study.
Shortly after her wife died in March, Arlene Goldberg had to give up the beloved South Florida home that the couple shared. Because Goldberg’s 2011 marriage to her partner of 47 years wasn’t recognized as legal in Florida, she was denied her wife’s social security benefits. Without that income, Goldberg, 67, couldn’t pay her mortgage. “I’m trying to figure out how I am going to get through this time,” she said from Fort Myers, Florida. “I really can’t even pay my bills.”

Goldberg is among an untold number of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people nationwide who suffer economic distress and in some cases, poverty, as a result of anti-gay laws such as same-sex marriage bans, or from a lack of legal protections, like non-discrimination ordinances, according to a new report by two think tanks, the progressive Center for American Progress and the pro-LGBT Movement Advancement Project.

Census data and other research over the last decade have shown higher rates of financial hardship and poverty among gays. But the report’s authors make the connection between those difficulties and specific laws and policies by analyzing current incomes and poverty rates for LGBT people and their heterosexual counterparts in states that have protections and those that don’t.

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Sam Smith - Restart

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LOUISIANA: Church Kicks Out AA Group Because They Fear Same-Sex Weddings

A Baptist church in Louisiana has told a local Alcoholics Anonymous group that it can no longer meet there because it fears they will eventually be forced into hosting a same-sex wedding. That hasn't ever happened to a church anywhere and same-sex marriage is not legal in Louisiana and AA doesn't advocate for gay marriage and gay people have no public accommodation protections in that state, but so what? It could happen, people. From their letter:
Dear AA Members: As I am sure you are aware, God’s church, his written word, and its values and principles have come under a constant and aggressive attack from the homosexual and lesbian community. Churches and Christian businesses alike, across our nation, are being forced, by our legal system, to accommodate these groups in the use of their buildings/facilities to perform marriage ceremonies, receptions, etc. The court’s decision was based on the fact that the Churches/businesses were accepting and accommodating other public entities, and therefore must also accommodate the homosexual and lesbian community. Therefor, in following with the recommendations of our state and national conventions, it is with great regret that we (the members of Westwood Baptist Church) must inform you that use of our church facilities will no longer be available to you and your organization beginning October 1, 2014.
(Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

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Homocon Carl DeMaio: I'm Independent

The new ad from homocon US House candidate Carl DeMaio concludes by calling him "independent." DeMaio, of course, is the GOP nominee and has declared that he "owes everything" to the Tea Party. But somehow, he's independent. 

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This Weekend: Ex-Gay-O-Rama

Last year's big "ex-gay" event was a hilarious disaster in which fewer than ten people showed up after American Family Association radio shrieker Sandy Rios had predicted it would draw "thousands of ex-gays." That failure came after they had canceled "Ex-Gay Pride Month" due to "anti-ex-gay extremism." Several weeks later a massive crowd of tens attended an "Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner" held at a secret bunker deep under Washington DC. This time, the media is invited.
Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) is pleased to extend press credentials for media outlets wishing to cover the 2014 Ex-Gay Awareness Conference, October 3-4, in Washington, D.C. The conference is being co-hosted by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) and Equality And Justice For All (E&JA). Sponsors of the conference include: Family Research Council, American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, Defend Life, The Alliance for Scientific Integrity and Therapeutic Choice, PFOX, VoV, E&JA, and more. A conference and celebration on October 4th featuring former US Ambassador Alan Keyes as the keynote speaker will highlight the many achievements of ex-gays, including Christian singer/songwriter Dennis Jernigan, who will receive the 2014 Courage Award for Former Homosexuals. Other speakers include Matt Barber, Vice President of Liberty Counsel, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, and a special appearance by American Family Radio personality and former Fox News contributor, Sandy Rios, who will accept the 2014 Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award.
Recapping the speakers, we can presume that Matt Barber will let everybody know that non-ex-gays deserve to die of AIDS, Peter Sprigg will call for non-ex-gays to be imprisoned, and Sandy Rios will declare that non-ex-gays are possessed by demons. Awards for everybody!

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NPH On His Italian Wedding

Via the Wrap:
Harris said they chose the destination because it was the first trip the couple took together. It was just one of many connections to firsts for the couple, that has been together for more than a decade. Their song is Kelly Clarkson's “A Moment Like This,” because they obsessed over the first season of “American Idol” together. “A friend of a friend knew a dude who had a castle,” Harris said, explaining how they wound up with their unique wedding venue. Elton John sang a couple of songs and introduced the couple for their first dance, which was of course to Clarkson's first hit single. His favorite captured moment came at a moment that he didn't expect to come off quite so perfectly. He had attempted to time off the launching of fireworks to the crescendo of “A Moment Like This,” but had no faith that the small town Italian “local fireworks “dude” could pull it off.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Cruz: I Still Haven't Decided About 2016

"Contrary to media reports this morning, Heidi and I have not made any decisions about political plans past the mid-term elections. Clearly we have an overzealous supporter out there making freelance comments, but to be clear, no decision has been made. Whoever this 'anonymous advisor' was, he or she had no authority to speak, and doesn't know what they're talking about." - Sen. Ted Cruz, writing on his Facebook page. Cruz won the 2016 straw poll on Saturday at the FRC's hate summit.

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HONG KONG: Democracy Protest Swells, Police Respond With Tear Gas

Via the Washington Post:
Swelling crowds of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on Monday plunged Asia’s normally staid financial hub into a tense standoff with Beijing that strikes directly at China’s expanding political grip in the former British colony. The rapidly escalating demonstrations are aimed at forcing Beijing’s Communist leaders to abandon newly declared powers to weed out any candidates in upcoming Hong Kong elections. Yet many on the streets proclaimed they are fighting for something even bigger: preserving a vision of Hong Kong promised 14 years ago when it reverted to Chinese rule. At the time, Chinese leaders promised a state within a state: allowing special hands-off provisions for Hong Kong such as elections and a degree of self-rule in policy making. But protesters now accuse China of reneging on the deal and trying to exert its control over every aspect of Hong Kong’s political affairs. The mounting protests present a conundrum for Beijing. Too hard a crackdown could drive more people to the pro-democracy cause, and that would embarrass Chinese authorities, who would never permit such a challenge on the mainland. Yet, by the same token, allowing the protesters some room risks encouraging others to question Communist control in the rest of the country over such issues as media freedoms, economic development and minority rights.

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Caption This

That's the eldest son of the Duck Dynasty clan. You'll recall that the Benhams gave the same treatment to Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal.

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Matt Barber: God Sent Me To Tell Gay People That They Deserve To Die Of AIDS

"The wages of sin is death. I’m honored to say that I’m one of those 'haters' called by God to sound the alarm. While folks do send me positive and encouraging notes on a regular basis, I likewise receive a steady stream of hate mail – chiefly when I write (or speak) on the issues of marriage, God’s moral law and His natural order for human sexuality. While the positive correspondence is always heartening, it is, believe it or not, the nasty stuff – the uglier the better – that especially lifts my spirits. Christ’s promises are true: 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake' (Matthew 5:11). When God calls you to be an instrument of His truth, the biblical harmonies you play will often strike sour with those in rebellion against Him, sending them into blind rage and deep denial. This is a spiritual battle old as time itself. It is between good and evil. It is sublimely humbling to be used of God in this way." - Matt Barber, in a World Net Daily column citing HIV infection rates. (Via Right Wing Watch)

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Hypocrisy Explosion: World Congress Of Families Launches Petition Against "Haters" At Human Rights Campaign

The World Congress of Families concluded their Kremlin summit earlier this month by issuing a call for more nations to criminalize homosexuality. But today they're accusing the Human Rights Campaign of being "haters."
The grossly misnamed Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a so-called ‘report’ titled “The Export of Hate” that is nothing but an intentionally misleading, hate-filled attack on individuals and organizations and Christians who oppose their agenda of forcing a redefinition of marriage in America, and throughout the world. The ‘report’ has enjoyed some attention among uncritical, leftist online media outlets. As is their custom, the HRC cites long-discredited and ideologically partisan sources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to give apparent credibility to their hate-filled invective. They also intentionally misrepresent facts, twisting them beyond recognition to justify the charge that somehow supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman around the world is wrong.

Several individuals associated with the World Congress of Families including Larry Jacobs, Janice Crouse and Brian Brown were singled out by HRC in their report. The HRC says World Congress of Families is part of a “network of American extremists who are working tirelessly to undercut LGBT people around the world,” people who spread “venomous rhetoric, outrageous theories and discredited science.” The suggestion is made that people like me are OK with “systematic stigmatization, persecution and violence” and may even be fine with gays and lesbians being put to death. WCF readily and proudly pleads guilty to the “crime” of not supporting the HRC’s desire to redefine marriage. WCF has had the nerve to express that view not only here in America, but when invited to speak in other countries. Hence, in the distorted world of the HRC, I am an extremist and “export hate.”

But as HRC well knows, WCF has consistently denounced hate and violence. It is a slur and lie to claim otherwise. It should be clear to any honest observer that the truth is not what HRC is after. Instead they simply seek to silence and intimidate those with whom they disagree. Hence, the self-professed purpose of their “report” is to name and shame those who stand for the truth of the nature of marriage. WCF is proud to have played some small role in this emerging global movement. One of the few things HRC correctly notes is that WCF leaders have spoken at conferences around the world. However, these speeches focused not on “hate” or “division” but on the importance of individuals of different faiths, nationalities, cultures, and political creeds uniting together in a shared defense of the truth of marriage and family. Working together with men and women dedicated to protecting the family is not the definition of hate, but love.
While written in the first person, the petition does not include its author's name. I suspect it was written by Breitbart columnist and C-FAM leader Austin Ruse. The petition is being hosted on CitizenGO, which is affiliated with Brian Brown's Act Right group.

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PENNSYLVANIA: Atheist Protest Of Jesus Statue Charges Meets Counter-Protesters

Remember the teenager in Pennsylvania who faces two years in juvenile detention for posing on a statue of Jesus? This happened this weekend:
A successful protest, where several dozen people rallied in favor of free speech, was marred on Saturday, when a belligerent group of counter protesters, including two from what appeared to be a motorcycle gang, crashed the demonstration and threatened those in attendance, including a 14-year old boy arrested for “desecrating” a Jesus statue and Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. Incredibly, there was not a single police officer on-hand to prevent potential violence and this left the protesters vulnerable to thugs and forced them to fend for themselves. “The Bedford police placed us directly in harms way and their inaction nearly caused a full-blown melee,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “This is the first time in two decades of protesting that I’ve been put directly in harm’s way by town officials. We call on Bedford to immediately review its policies for protecting the free speech rights of those who demonstrate in their town.”
From the clip recap:
Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen, American Atheists President David Silverman and Pennsylvania Nonbelievers President Brian Fields all three organizations came together, held a press conference and a demonstration in Bedford, Pennsylvania, to speak out for freedom of speech and freedom of religion for all after hearing of a fourteen year old child is being tried in juvenile court in Bedford on October 3 2014 for “desecrating” a Jesus statue after pictures were posted on Facebook.
Things start to get heated around the 8:00 mark.

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Aretha Franklin - Rolling In The Deep

Billboard reports:
Aretha Franklin is showing some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to her fellow divas: The Queen of Soul will release an album Oct. 21 covering classic songs from other female singers. Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics will include songs such as Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia," Barbra Streisand's "People" and Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman." The most contemporary track is a reworking of Adele's colossal hit "Rolling In the Deep," which is the first single off the album. It will be available digitally Monday [today], when the 72-year-old will also perform the song on Late Night with David Letterman. Other songs covered by Franklin include the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On," Alicia Keys' "No One" and Dinah Washington's "Teach Me Tonight." The icon's version of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" will incorporate some of Destiny's Child's "Survivor." The opening track is Etta James' signature song, "At Last," and Franklin closes the 10-track set with Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Aretha throws in a bit of another diva's classic at the end.

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New NYC Transit Ads From Pam Geller

Having won a 2012 court battle to place anti-Islam ads on New York City transit, the above banners from blogger Pam Geller began appearing this week on buses and subway platforms. Today Geller agreed to pull the top image from the campaign after receiving complaints from the family of beheaded journalist James Foley. As part of the 2012 ruling, the ads appear alongside a disclaimer from the MTA. Geller is suing again because the MTA rejected one ad from the new campaign because it contains the words "killing Jews."

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Robert Oscar Lopez: The Human Rights Campaign Is Like The Khmer Rouge

"They’re after your kids, plain and simple; all their other issues are mere window dressing. They have convinced themselves that gays are a tribe unto themselves, so their consuming goal is to populate the tribe so they don’t disappear. Parenthood is their great white whale. They want to have children to love them and call them Mom and Dad. They need to get those children from you because biology prevents them from siring them naturally. Gentlemen readers, these folks are trying to find a way to get the sperm out of your testicles and into their laboratories; lady readers, these folks need to find a way to implant an embryo of their sperm in your womb, keep you obedient during the gestation, and take your baby away forever.

"The main item on the gay lobby’s agenda is patently insane. People don’t generally want to let lesbians milk sperm out of their testicles. People don’t usually like the idea of gay men gestating babies in their wombs and then taking them away. (And no, 'visitation' plans where these gamete donors get to see their progeny a few times a month are not a good arrangement; that stuff’s really creepy.) [snip] According to some historians of the so-called killing fields, in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge hunted down people with eyeglasses and killed them en masse. They did this ostensibly because they worried that people who were too intelligent might challenge the draconian policies of the government. Fortunately, the Human Rights Campaign has no killing fields, so I and my contact lenses are safe for now. God grant that the awakening of reason come earlier rather than later." - Robert Oscar Lopez, writing about the HRC's Export Of Hate report for American Thinker.

RELATED: Five days ago Lopez wrote this: "I will say nothing more about the Human Rights Campaign and its hit lists. I have things to do." He must have run out of things to do.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Last week Lopez petitioned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop gay marriage in Texas because he used to be a prostitute. In April 2014 Lopez filed an anti-gay amicus brief in support of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Last March 2014 Lopez declared that gay men are turning surrogate mothers into breeding slaves. Last year, in addition to appearing on stage at an anti-gay Manif Pour Tous rally in France that was supported by neo-Nazis, Lopez testified against LGBT equality before several state legislatures and he co-signed an anti-gay homocon brief to the Supreme Court in support of DOMA. You really must read the Media Matters take on Lopez' trilogy of gay erotica.

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Tweet Of The Day - Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly just now, during which he slammed its Human Rights Council for denouncing the bombing of Gaza.

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Bachmann Walks Back Marriage Comment

During the FRC's hate summit, soon-to-be former Rep. Michele Bachmann told Michelangelo Signorile that gay marriage is no longer an issue, adding, "In fact, it's boring." After being called out by fellow wingnuts like Bryan Fischer, Crazy Eyes is walking back that comment. Via World Net Daily:
“What I said is that this won’t be the issue that drives the 2014 election,” Bachmann said. “I told the reporter it’s getting boring having them only press this issue with Republicans while ignoring Democrats. “The media loves to divide us on this issue. They look for something all the time,” Bachmann told WND. “I said nothing different. I’m the woman who carried the traditional marriage amendment in Minnesota, and I stand firm in my belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.” Bachmann’s aide told WND she wasn’t brushing off the radio host, she was merely making a quick, parting comment as she was leaving. Though the topic of marriage has been a hot-button issue in the last few elections, several states have begun issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and candidates for 2014 have had less to say on the matter.
"Several states." Heh.

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MEXICO: Thousands Protest Legalization Of Gay Marriage In State Of Coahuila

Via On Top Magazine:
An estimated thirty-thousand people marched Sunday in protest of a new law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The protest, which took place in the city of Saltillo, the capital and largest city of Coahuila, came a week and a day after a male gay couple inaugurated the law and a day after the state's first lesbian couple exchanged vows. According to El Universal, a “sea of people” flooded the city's major streets demanding the law's repeal. The mega march was organized by the evangelical Cristo Vive Saltillo (Christ Lives Saltillo), one of 18 local chapters of Cristo Vive Mexico. Demonstrators waved banners with an image of a heterosexual family, wore white shirts and chanted “True love is found in mom and dad.”
The state's first lesbian marriage is below.

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British Survey: 16% Have Had Gay Sex

A dwindling number of Brits believe that homosexuality should be made illegal again.
Attitudes to homosexuality are clearly becoming more liberal but there are still pockets of resistance. In total, 16% of Britons continue to believe that homosexuality should be outlawed. Men (19%) are more likely than women (13%) to advocate the banning of gay sex, and rejection of homosexuality peaks in London and the south-east, where more than one in five (21%) feel it should be illegal. However, at a total level, the proportion of Britons who believe gay sex should be illegal has reduced by eight percentage points, from 24%, since 2008.
According to the same survey, same-sex marriage support stands at 63%.

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NEW YORK: Flight Delayed Because Hasidim Wouldn't Sit Next To Women

A flight from New York City to Tel Aviv was delayed on Wednesday because ultra-Orthodox passengers refused to sit next to women.
According to the passengers who were on the plane, their fellow ultra-Orthodox travelers refused to sit next to women prior to the takeoff, which not only delayed the flight, but caused actual chaos to ensue on the plane. "People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward," said Amit Ben-Natan, a passenger who was on board the plane. "Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won't take off as long as they keep standing in the aisles."

Galit, another traveler on the flight, said the ultra-orthodox passengers suggested she and her spouse split up to better accommodate their desired seating arrangements: "Why should I agree to switch places?" she said with anger. After she refused, the haredi man seated next to her conceded, but it was only temporary: "I ended up sitting next to a haredi man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle." It seems that after takeoff a large portion of the haredi travelers took to the aisle to pray which, according to their fellow travelers, crowded the aisle and caused the flight to be unbearable. "I went to the bathroom and it was a mission impossible, the noise was endless," Galit said.
The airline has promised to look into "future steps" to prevent the issue from recurring.

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Ayn Rand: How Is She Still A Thing?

From last night's Last Week Tonight.

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Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays

The reunited Boomtown Rats performed stateside for the first time in more than 20 years on Friday in a showcase at Manhattan's Terminal 5. Their 1979 classic below was written about a San Diego school shooting - which at the time was so unusual that (spurred by the shooter's reason) it was worth writing a song about. Frontman Bob Geldof, of course, has since become one of the world's leading activists against poverty and AIDS.

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Editorial Of The Day

From the Des Moines Register editorial board:
At a press conference last week, Gov. Terry Branstad reiterated his long-held belief that Iowans should be allowed to vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. "It has been blocked in the Senate by the Senate leader," the governor observed. "It's up to the people to decide who they want to send to the Legislature, and if they want (leaders) who are going to give the people of Iowa a chance to vote on this issue. ... I think the people of Iowa should have a chance to vote on this." At first blush, the governor's stance seems reasonable. After all, what's the harm in letting people decide an issue for themselves? But consider the implications of his suggestion. If Branstad were to have his way, a majority of Iowans could simply go the polls and, with the stroke of their pen, deny certain constitutional rights now afforded a specific class of citizens. That is a fundamentally un-American concept. If that flag on Branstad's lapel stands for anything, it stands for the freedom and rights that are guaranteed to all Americans — gays and lesbians included — and not just to the Americans we happen to like.
The editorial closes with photos of the lesbian couple who married in Iowa earlier this month after 72 years together.

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SERBIA: First Pride March In Four Years Takes Place Under Riot Police Protection

Serbia's first pride march since 2010 took place in the capital city of Belgrade this weekend as an estimated 7000 riot police with tanks blocked thousands of counter-protesters from disrupting the parade.  Pride parades had been banned due to mob violence led by neo-Nazis and members of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The activists were able to advance several hundred metres through the deserted city-centre streets, but only thanks to the protection of thousands of riot police, water cannons and helicopters. It was a rare sight for Serbia, one of the most conservative countries in Europe, to witness a march akin to those found in the more cosmopolitan cities of London and Berlin. Albeit on a smaller scale and with far more security.Belgrade’s mayor, Sinisa Mali, who joined the demonstration with foreign diplomats, said it was an opportunity to show that Belgrade is a world capital where “all citizens are equal.” Darko Pandurevic, 23, from Sarajevo, who came to show solidarity with marchers, added he felt “a little bit scared,” but believed everything would be fine. Pressure from the EU is thought to be the main reason Serbian officials allowed Sunday’s event to take place after the three year ban. The country is keen to join the organisation and wants to burnish its human rights credentials. “This is a very positive and strong message,” the head of the EU mission in Serbia, Michael Davenport, told the rally. “It is also a strong message to those using hate language.”
Many photos are here.



RELATED: In 2011 the neo-Nazi organizers of the 2010 riots at Belgrade Pride were sentenced to prison. Over 200 anti-gay protesters had been arrested at the 2010 parade.

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

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UTAH: 49% Back Same-Sex Marriage

Freedom To Marry reports on a just-released poll they commissioned in Utah:
A plurality of Utahns – 49% to 48% – agree that same sex-couples should be allowed to get a state-issued marriage license. Moreover, 61% believe legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Utah is inevitable and will happen in the state within the next five years. And, by a large majority (67%), they want the U.S. Supreme Court to settle this question once and for all. These numbers come as the Court begins its term and meets today to consider Utah’s marriage case, Kitchen v. Herbert, along with four others, for the upcoming session. The findings of the poll, conducted Sept. 21 to 23 of 500 adults over 18 across the state, also show that 94% believe the freedom to marry will not impact their marriage, with 84% saying it won’t impact their family and 65% saying it won’t adversely impact the state.

Noting that Freedom to Marry has invested resources into Utah over the last several months in a public education campaign, Evan Wolfson, the founder and president said, “This poll shows that the people of Utah, like Americans all across the country, already support or are ready to live with the freedom to marry. Utahns, like Americans generally, believe the Supreme Court should act now and will rule in favor. Indeed, when the freedom to marry has come to states like Utah, there has been little or no real opposition or concern – even those who are less than keen know it’s coming and doesn’t affect their lives, their families, their marriages, or their community. The ‘dog that didn’t bark’ is further proof that America is ready for the freedom to marry and that it’s time for the Court to bring the country to national resolution.”
See the full polling results.

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Kazaky & Hardkiss -Strange Moves

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TODAY: SCOTUS Conference On Marriage

A reminder from Lambda Legal:
On September 29, the Supreme Court will assemble for a private conference where they will take their first look at potentially hearing one or more of the pending cases. All of the marriage cases decided by the federal courts of appeal since the DOMA ruling are scheduled for this conference. Seven petitions to hear the four decisions affecting five states— three from Virginia, and one each from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin — will be submitted to the Justices at this session. Lambda Legal supported the petitions on behalf of our clients in both the Bostic case (with the ACLU) in Virginia and the Baskin case in Indiana.

In this conference on September 29th, the Justices can vote to grant review in any one or any combination of the marriage cases before them, or none of them. We won’t hear what the Court has done on the 29th, of course. Usually, the cases granted review will be issued as part of an orders list, which is generally released on the Monday morning after the Justices' private conference. However, the Court has been known to issue an orders list earlier than that in order to expedite briefing and related activities, so we could possibly hear as early as Tuesday, September 30th, whether the Court will hear a marriage case and, if so, which one or more it has selected for review.

Because the LGBT movement was just in this same watchful position last year, we remember that there can be delays in issuing orders. The Court’s decisions about which case or cases to hear involves a good deal of complexity and may not be made right away. If the Court does grant review of any marriage cases any time up to the middle of January, arguments will be scheduled some time in the spring, and a final decision would be expected by next summer.

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